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Glen's comments on "Coil"
The following was taken from Darrell Phillips' now-defunct Toad-page and presents Glen's interpretations of the songs on Coil.
About two years ago Laurel and I moved up to Olympia, WA, victims of what Wendell Barry called the "disease of the 20th century" --the idea that you have to move out of your home town to really grow up. We learned that you can't replace in a few months what you've built over a lifetime. I got a little depressed, and this song came out. We're back where we belong, now-- nothing against Olympia-- but home is home.
More than anything this is a thank-you to my wife for bearing with my various weaknesses and annoying traits. I'm endlessly repetitive and tend to say the same thing over and over in slightly different ways, but not different enough to matter, and I have a tendency to be redundant as well...
I thought this was about a tree, but a friend told me that it was about the seasonal nature of life, and the need to adapt and learn as easy times turn into difficult ones. I like her interpretation better.
You know that itching and burning that compels you to shut down all senses until the buried feelings well up inside you like a great flood and force you to either willingly but painfully release them or explode? I do.
This is a "wanna" song, about the little devils and angels sitting on my shoulders and telling me what to do. I listen intently, but rarely act.
If you're ever in Pushkar and a man claiming to be a Brahmin offers to take you down to the ghats for puja, don't fall for it.
This is a sensitive guy anthem. I like the terrible syntax of "if there was a storm rolled in."
This is a little pop psychology/self-help ditty, with lots of cheap advice. It's very "do as I say, not as I do" for me. I like the part about burning the T.V.
The chorus is based on the Rev. Martin Niemoeller quote from WWII, "I didnt speak up." I think it relates well to the current fashion of regressive legislation and jingoistic rhetoric in California and the nation in general.
A friend of mine has a little brass Buddha that he would always hold up while cackling "Life is suffering, tee-hee ha-ha." I lifted that straight up. I'm a little embarrassed to add yet another oversimplification and the misinterpretation to the western concept of Buddhism, but another friend of mine played it for some monks in Dharmsala who seemed to like it so I guess it's okay.
We are not a nation free of political prisoners, much as we would like to believe otherwise. Of course, the deification of martyrs to the cause is pretty weird, too. Ask any ten people one either side about any important event and you'll get ten different stories.
Just a transparent excuse to have people use up all their lighter fluid at the end of a concert.